Count Dooku is one of the most interesting characters in Star Wars because, in many ways, his mindset makes sense. He wasn’t like Darth Sidious because he wanted to be an evil Sith Lord for the sake of power. Instead, as a former Jedi Master, Count Dooku had his ideals and sought to implement them after leaving the Jedi Order. So, why and when did Count Dooku leave the Jedi Order?
Dooku left the Jedi Order when he realized that the Republic had become corrupt and that the Jedi High Council did nothing about the fact that there were corrupt politicians all over the galaxy. He eventually started working with Palpatine, who he knew could help him change the galaxy.
In a way, Dooku left the Jedi Order for the right reasons. The problem was that he did things that were downright evil when he was working with Palpatine. In that regard, he became a very complex figure that showcased the will to change the galaxy but lacked the discipline to do it correctly. Now, let’s discuss Dooku and how he left the Jedi Order.
Dooku lost faith in the Jedi and the Republic
In the world of Star Wars, we get to see a lot of different antagonists that have their reasons for doing what they are doing. For example, in Palpatine’s case, he wanted to consolidate eternal power onto himself. Meanwhile, Anakin turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader because he wanted to save the life of the one he loved the most. But out of all the Sith Lords we’ve met, Count Dooku seemed to have the most complex storyline and mindset.
The thing about Count Dooku was that he was an idealist and a man born into the ruling family of Serenno. But he eventually joined the Jedi Order because he was sensitive to the Force. As a Jedi, he became a prominent duelist and eventually gained the rank of Jedi Master due to his accomplishments and skills. He also took a young Qui-Gon Jinn as his Padawan learner years before the events of ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.’
More of Dooku’s story was told in three episodes of ‘Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi’ season 1, wherein we saw the contrasts between Dooku and Ahsoka, both characters that left the Jedi Order. In Dooku’s case, we saw how he was still part of the Jedi Order and took part in different missions with different Jedi.
Dooku worked with Qui-Gon, still, his Padawan then, to resolve an issue regarding the kidnapping of a senator’s son. They eventually discovered that the villagers that kidnapped the senator’s son only did so because they were living in poverty and were starving, all while the senator and the other oligarchs of that planet were living in luxury. Dooku was quick to understand the plight of the people, so he was willing to fight the soldiers that the senator took with him to kill the villagers that kidnapped his son.
It was clear that Dooku saw how corrupt certain politicians all over the galaxy were, as this senator was willing to burn an entire village down instead of understanding their plight. Dooku was about to execute the senator himself before Qui-Gon stepped in and allowed the senator’s son to save his father. Dooku could have fallen to the dark side then and there but was able to temporarily keep himself from becoming evil.
Years after that, Dooku and Mace Windu were sent on a mission to retrieve the body of a fallen Jedi Master. But while Windu was more than willing to do the job that he was given, Dooku questioned the fact that a Jedi Master died from the attack of some bandits while the senator that he was accompanying was able to survive the attack. And upon further investigation, they discovered that the senator and his guards were responsible for killing the Jedi Master before he could tell what was happening.
These guards attacked Dooku and Windu. But the Jedi Masters were able to fend off their attackers and keep one of the guards alive to question him. The survivor told them they knew and understood that their senator was corrupt.
He also told them that the reason why they attacked the Jedi Master was that they knew that the Jedi Order was aware of the corrupt acts of the different politicians all over the galaxy but were simply turning a blind eye because they had become dogs that the Republic could order around.
In some ways, these experiences shaped Dooku’s perception of the Jedi Order. He had every right to feel disillusioned by the fact that the Jedi Order was aware of the corrupt activities of the different politicians all over the galaxy but was unwilling to do anything about them.
After all, the Jedi were just keepers of the peace and were not supposed to meddle in the corrupt actions of politicians. But Dooku didn’t like that the Jedi Order was still willing to serve the corrupt politicians as if they were dogs that the Republic could order around to do whatever they were told.
Then, in episode 4 of ‘Tales of the Jedi,’ it was revealed that Dooku was responsible for deleting Kamino from the Jedi Archives because he was working alongside the secretive Darth Sidious. That means he already understood that the Sith Order was still around but was more than willing to work with this evil Force wielder because he had learned to hate what the Jedi Order and the Republic had become.
As such, Dooku was more of an idealist because he wanted things in the galaxy to change. Many different systems were aware of the Republic’s corrupt activities and the Jedi Order’s leniency in relation to what the different politicians were doing. He was able to rally all of these systems to his cause during the events before the Clone Wars. And that was why Dooku eventually formed the Confederacy of Independent Systems or the Separatists to destroy the Republic that had become so corrupt.
Was Dooku still a Jedi in Episode 1?
Episode 4 of ‘Tales of the Jedi’ revealed that these events were happening concurrently with the events of ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,’ as Dooku and Qui-Gon met in the Jedi Temple right after Jinn brought Anakin before the Jedi Council. In that regard, it was clear that Dooku was still a Jedi at that time but was already working in secret with Palpatine, as he was the one who killed Sifo-Dyas right after commissioning the Kaminoans to create the clone army for the Republic.
However, Master Yaddle, a leading Jedi Council member at that time, had her suspicions as she felt that Dooku was troubled right after she told him that Qui-Gon had been killed on Naboo. That was when she followed him as Dooku led her to the secret base of Darth Sidious.
Yaddle confronted Dooku and Sidious and even urged him to work with her to destroy the Sith Lord. However, Dooku rejected her offer and decided to fight her instead. It was the fact that Dooku defeated and killed Yaddle that ultimately completed his transition to the dark side of the Force. He became Sidious’ new apprentice just after Darth Maul was presumably killed on Naboo.
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